It’s been literally over a decade since I last read a classic Marvel comic. I had got into manga as a kid, so my interest for American comics never really went anywhere. I grew up around a lot of people who followed superheroes and villains on a weekly basis, and yet I didn’t care about it. So, now over a decade later, I have a new interest to try and get into comics again, but why? Simple: femme fatales.
A little while back, I finally got around to playing Marvel’s Spider-Man on my Playstation 4, and that was when my drive for comics were lit again. And guess who was the first comic character I wanted to read about (even though I know the title of this review gave it away?)
When I found out she has finally gotten her own comic series back in 2019, and not staring in a comic that was more-or-less focused on somebody else, I knew I had to jump on it.
So, here’s my review of Black Cat Vol. 1: Grand Theft Marvel.
Black Cat Vol. 1: Grand Theft Marvel is a collection of Black Cat (2019) issues #1-5. With the combined talents of Jed MacKay, Travel Foreman, Brian Reber, and the number of other people who worked on the comics, volume one was such an entertaining joy ride from start to finish.
Following the many heists of Black Cat and her crew, the comic begins with the alluring and attractive Felicia Hardy strutting her way into a luxurious party. The story is quickly established within the first couple of pages, having Felicia come to into contact with Odessa Drake, leader of New York City’s Thieves Guild. Although the two aren’t exactly on the best of terms, Felicia doesn’t let that stop her from doing what she does best: getting whatever she wants. After the guards catch wind of Felicia’s presence at the party, they immediately try to get her out, preventing her from potentially hightailing it out with whatever she came for.
That, however, does nothing to stop something from getting stolen.
After engaging in a high-speed chase, fighting off a number of ninjas sent to take her life, and making it back to the hideout for a nice bottle of champagne, Black Cat and her crew celebrate the success of their latest heist. However, the pleasantries were short-lived when an old friend came by for a chat. Now planning one of her biggest heist ever, Black Cat must find a way to retrieve a number of rare items from some of the universe’s most powerful and well-known superheroes. Will the cat be successful in getting what she wants or will her lavish life of crime come to a crashing end?
Right off the back, the story grabbed me in. Going into the comic blind about any real knowledge about Felicia Hardy and Black Cat, Odessa Drake, and most of the characters introduced throughout the comic wasn’t a real hindrance on how much I liked it. The main thing that kept me going was wanting to see just how everything unfolded and the build up to the end. The story itself was well written through the dialogue and character interactions. Each character had a personality of their own, no two feeling like copies or clones of another. And with the main star being Black Cat, she definitely had a personality that stood out. From the casual trash-talking in the middle of an intense fight, flirtatious one-liners about people being obsessed with her, and the occasional inner monologues about how easily she can rob anybody, Black Cat makes this comic not only thrilling, but witty and comical without breaking the story apart.
The art style is consistent from the first page to the last. While every panel isn’t as detailed and in-depth as other comics, you won’t be focused on minor details about everything. Regardless of this, character’s expressions and moods are portrayed very well, helping to get the emotions and moods through when moments are happening, both calm and hectic. However, when things are getting serious or when certain panels are being emphasized, the lines become sharper, more details are put in, and everything has that pop factor to it.
Overall, Black Cat Vol. 1: Grand Theft Marvel was an amazing time from start to finish. Between the action-packed pages, comical interactions everybody had with Black Cat, and a well-written, attention-grabbing story, this is one comic that I recommend following from start to finish. And with the way volume one ends, I can’t wait to get around to volume two. Aside from just containing the first five issues, there is a small array of cover art variants as an added bonus. Not only do you get a great story, you get to see Black Cat drawn in various art styles and situations. Black Cat Vol. 1: Grand Theft Marvel is currently available on Amazon, Comixology, Barnes & Noble, and other major retailers where comics are physically or digitally sold.
(Quick Note: The image from the Amazon link displays the the Black Cat Issue #1 cover art, but will switch to the Vol. 1 cover when viewing a sample of the comic.)